The Queen is set to miss the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, for the first time in 40 years. It is not yet known why the monarch will not attend the meeting, but it is believed Prince Charles may go in her place, British media reported.
The news comes amid controversy over the summit, with concerns having been raised by member governments over human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. But the decision by the Queen not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) is not thought to be related, according to Sky News.
It is not known whether the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, has decided to miss the meeting on health grounds, after she was admitted to hospital earlier this year suffering from gastroenteritis, or if her decision is part of a move to transfer more responsibilities to Prince Charles.
Every two years leaders of the 54 Commonwealth nations meet to discuss global issues, and the Queen attended the last meeting in Perth, Australia, in 2011.
The location of the meeting in Sri Lanka has divided leaders of the Commonwealth countries, concerned about the country's human rights record and the ruling of its president, Mahinda Rajapaksa.